Gateway and Trades


Level 2 / 3
Trades academies are part of the Government’s youth initiatives. They focus on providing more choices for young New Zealanders and giving them greater opportunities to develop their knowledge, skills and talents through trades and technology programmes that are jointly provided by schools and tertiary education organisations.
The West Coast Trades Academy (WCTA) is a partnership between all of the West Coast high schools and area schools and tertiary institutions. Greymouth High School coordinates the Academy, and Tai Poutini Polytechnic  in Greymouth (TPP), Whenua Iti Outdoors (WIO), Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) and Papa Taiao Earthcare are the Tertiary Partners for WCTA.
These courses are a mix of practical and theory with Unit Standards at either Level 2 or 3 depending on whether it is a Year 1 or 2 course (there are a few Year 3 courses which offer Level 4 credits). Some courses are 1-day per week and others are residential block course weeks.
The following courses are being offered in 2023:
  • Automotive engineering
  • Mechanical engineering & CAD design
  • Computer programming and web design
  • Building & construction
  • Civil construction / earth moving
  • Uniformed Services
  • Civil defence emergency response
  • Environmental science
  • Agriculture (dairy farming focus)
  • Conservation and earthcare
  • Manaaki Tāpoi
  • Adventure Tourism Leadership
  • Hair & beauty
  • Cookery
  • Cafe skills
  • Tourism operations
Students must have pre-enrolled online via West Coast Trades Academy website by October in the preceding year. Occasionally extra courses may be offered during the year and details will be advertised to students and families. 
For more information contact our Trades & Gateway co-ordinator, Michelle Maiava


Level 2 / 3
Gateway helps Year 11 – 13 students to build their skills for employment working in real workplaces on real tasks. It is a ‘try before you buy’ type of opportunity which means students get to try out potential careers before they spend money on studying for them. It also gives them the opportunity to build links to Industry Training Organisations, Modern Apprenticeships and workplaces.
Gateway is designed to support and strengthen senior students’ transition into the workforce by offering them workplace learning while still at school.
A Gateway programme allows students to:
  • Continue their NCEA study
  • Try out a job in a real work environment (usually 1-day per week)
  • Learn and be assessed for specific work knowledge and skills
  • Study for and earn trades-related credits (at least 20 credits).
There are a wide-variety of possible Gateway options (pending being able to arrange work placements locally) including:
  • Agriculture
  • Motor industry
  • Preschool education
  • Retail
  • Tourism and hospitality
Students will be considered on a case-by-case basis, as numbers are limited. 
For more information contact our Trades & Gateway co-ordinator, Michelle Maiava